To My Dear FC Buddies & Friends: An Explanation
First, my deepest apologies for taking so long in getting around to this explanation for my absence from fc. I wanted to wait until I had all the facts before explaining, and the facts came slowly. Yesterday, I got the last of the information that I wanted to share.
After dealing with all the musical events of last season, I had problems getting my interest back in photography and fc. At first I blamed it on fc burnout...after all, I had been spending 4 to 6 hours daily, 7 days a week, on the fc website, and my fall respite gave me the time to think about other things that I had ignored.
Then in February I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. During the next few months I was meeting with doctors to work out a plan for dealing with it, and then jaundice hit me, and my energy level dropped down almost to a zero. Then more doctors, more tests.
Finally, it was determined to a 90% certainty that I also have pancreatic cancer, which trumps the prostate cancer.
So, I have taken a hormone shot to slow down the growth of the prostate cancer. I will continue the shots for two years and will eventually have radiation therepy. But the pancreas comes first, and I will enter the hospital in Honolulu on August 7 for a Whipple operation which removes the portion of the pancreas that has the tumor as well as parts of the stomach, small intestine and gall bladder, then rearranges the "plumbing" to a new configuration.
Please send me your positive vibrations (or maybe put your hand on your monitor and yell "HEAL"), and I should be back practically as good as new (at least for a 69 year-old man) in a few months.
I love you all.
Marlis E. 7. September 2008, 20:15I am standing still, reading this ...I am with you and your family...I wish you all my energy ...there are no words for me to answer you ...I know all about this kind of cancer...May be all my energy with you ...all kind of love to you and your family
Best wishes from good old Germany ...may God bless you ...
BRYAN CRUTE 6. August 2008, 11:19I have never met you Tom, but from what i can see you are a kind and caring person who deserves a break. I send you all my positive thoughts and hopes for a speedy and safe recovery.Look forward to many years of seeing your pictures on this site. Keep the faith !
Robert Riley 3. August 2008, 19:49Hi Tom. Mary and I met Inez today and she told me about your situation. I havn't been on FC much lately either.
Let me tell you a positive story!
My mother had a problem. She went to the Doc. Had the tests which confirmed Cervical Cancer. She had treatment, and she went into remission. Later she had a reccurance of the cancer, she had more treatment. She went into remission again and stayed healthy for a few years.
Then she noticed a lump in her breast. Right! Breast Cancer. Had the op, all was OK.
She had another recurrance of the cervical cancer, had the treatment and has been well ever since.
Tom, this started 35 years ago!! She is now healthy and 89 years Young.
She cant remember my name but who cares!!!
One thing that she did every day was pray to her God!
I sincerely hope you come through this and my prayers are with you.
See you in 2018!
Dianna 3. August 2008, 18:45Tears pour as I read your explanation.....
More tears pour as I read through the love going your way....
You do have my thoughts, prayers, yells, tears, concern, hope and faith....
today, and throughout your healing process.
Big hugs, and lots of love,
Alfred Spectrum 3. August 2008, 4:14Dear Tom,
I had been missing your pretty shots of beautiful and strange flowers growing in that wonderful place, they always come with solid explanations. It is clear now why you were not at FC so often anymore.
OK, so we'll wait a "bit" and in the meantime try to return the favor you did us so many times and upload our best.
Strength, courage and determination I wish you, and our thoughts and smudged monitors are with you.
Be back soon.
All the best,
Vesela Maleeva 1. August 2008, 9:10Dear Tom,
Also I'd like to give you two prayers,
that I've said to myself in hours of
darkness, and found strength in them...
as words (and images) are all we have:
"... and if the darkened hours of despair
overcome me, may I not forget the strength
that comforted me in the desolation of other
-- Max Ehrmann
"God, grant me the courage not to give up
what I think is right, even though I think it's
-- Chester Nimitz
Your friend, Ves
Vesela Maleeva 1. August 2008, 8:54Dear Tom,
I wanted to give you a flower, but I
didn't have any new ones that seem
good enough. I will do one for you,
to your health and many happy years
to come, and I trust you will heal and
be back to your beautiful music and
pics, enjoying life as before. We are
all of us waiting for you.